Women’s Soccer: Wildcats finish scoreless at Ohio State in first draw of season


Daily file photo by Leeks Lim

Kayla Sharples battles for the ball. The sophomore defender and the No. 24 Wildcats’ defense managed their ninth shutout of the season against Ohio State.

Robbie Markus, Assistant Sports Editor

Despite multiple chances to finish throughout the game, No. 24 Northwestern left Columbus, Ohio, with a double-overtime draw in its road matchup against Ohio State on Saturday.

In the 0-0 draw, the Wildcats’ (10-1-1, 3-1-1 Big Ten) defense and junior goalkeeper Lauren Clem again proved their dominance, leading the team to its ninth clean sheet of the season.

NU played defensively the entire match. The Buckeyes (7-4-2, 1-2-2 Big Ten) notched 28 shots to the Cats’ nine and also put nine shots on goal. Ohio State also managed to earn 17 corners by the end of the match.

The Buckeyes’ offense was led by senior forwards Lindsay Agnew and Nichelle Prince, who together put pressure on NU with six combined shots on goal.

Clem was a dominant presence in the net for all of the 110-minute match. She notched a career-high nine saves, and said she was optimistic about the Cats’ performance Saturday.

“There was nothing we were disappointed about,” Clem said. “We left it all on the field. We played together.”

Although the defense was strong, NU’s attack again struggled to challenge the opposition. After Coach Michael Moynihan expressed some concern about the offense following the team’s 2-0 loss to No. 19 Rutgers, the Cats continued to have trouble Saturday, managing just two shots on goal the entire match. Despite the worries, sophomore defender Hannah Davison remained confident that the offense would soon find its stride.

“The whole team having a very aggressive mindset is important,” Davison said. “The goals are going to come.”

Although junior midfielder Kassidy Gorman led the team with three shots, the closest chance came in the final minutes, when freshman forward Maddy Lucas ripped a ball off the left post. Lucas currently sits at third on the team in goals this season with two, behind Gorman and sophomore forward Brenna Lovera.

NU hopes to finish in the top-three in conference standings, but currently sits in fourth, behind Penn State, Wisconsin and Rutgers. The Cats don’t face Penn State or Wisconsin this season, but consistent wins through the rest of conference play would likely propel them to where they want to be.

Next week, the Cats will return home to face Michigan State on Thursday and Michigan on Sunday. The Michigan match will have major conference implications, as the Wolverines currently sit a spot back from NU in conference standings.

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